• Published 14th Nov 2016
  • 9,494 Views, 1,491 Comments

Looking Glass - Krickis

When Sunset sees herself as an alicorn in a magical mirror, she goes looking for answers, eventually going through the mirror into another world. Some things are better left alone though, as she finds herself trapped in the other world as a child.

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1 – Down the Rabbit Hole

Act I


Chapter One

Down the Rabbit Hole

Something felt wrong. Sunset was lying on the ground with her eyes closed, and she had a dull ache all over her body. Could have been an effect of going through the mirror, could have been from falling face first as soon as she was through it. But there was more to it than just the pain. She couldn’t exactly identify what it was, just that something felt wrong – Sunset felt wrong.

She pushed herself up to a sitting position, and the feeling persisted. The ground felt strange beneath her hooves; in fact, her hooves themselves felt like nothing she could explain. Slowly, she opened her eyes and winced at the light. She closed them again, and moved a hoof to wipe her eyes.

As soon as her hoof touched her face, she stopped. It was soft. Her hoof was soft. Her eyes immediately shot open, and she stared as the blurriness faded. Something was definitely wrong, her hoof looked more like a griffin's talons. It was split at the ends, with five protruding digits. That wasn’t all that seemed strange either; her foreleg seemed smaller, both in length and width.

Terrified of what she might see, she took a deep breath and looked down at her body. She was… clothed? She hadn’t been wearing clothes on the way through the mirror, but now she was. Everything seemed to be the wrong proportions, but it was hard to figure out what she was looking at.

Sunset tried to control her heart. Why was she freaking out so much? She needed to take control of the situation, but she couldn’t make herself move. She closed her eyes and found her breathing was beyond her control. Still, she didn’t have to look at that freakish thing attached to her foreleg.

Coming through the mirror had been a mistake. She was going to go back through, back to the Equestria she knew and understood. She would just have to tell Celestia –

All she could see were Celestia’s eyes. ‘You are no longer welcome in the castle.’ The words echoed through Sunset’s head, bouncing around until the only things she could focus on were the words and Celestia’s gaze as she said them. It was worse than having her eyes open.

Steeling herself as best she could, Sunset once again opened her eyes. As she did, she became aware of more of the world around her. She was facing what seemed to be some sort of huge building, which wrapped around where she was sitting. She needed time to collect herself before she could even consider going into a building, so she decided to move away from it.

As she tried to rise, she found her forelegs seemed to be much shorter than her hindlegs. The discovery redoubled her panic, as she wondered what exactly had happened to her body. Without knowing where she was going, she found herself running away from the building – or trying to, although she was doing a poor job of coordinating her legs to move efficiently.

All the while as she ran, she tried to refocus her mind. She knew she wasn’t acting rationally, that she needed to stop and think about what to do, not run blindly with no idea where she was going.

Eventually, she did stop, but not so that she could think. There was a… a thing. It looked vaguely mechanical, but unlike anything she had seen before. It was huge, far bigger than even Celestia, it was loud, and it was fast. It sped past her, and she lost all control of her body, running as fast as she could, and dimly aware that the machine had slowed down.

Not wanting to figure out what it was, but with no hope of outrunning it, Sunset did the only sensible thing she could do – she dove headfirst into a bush. The machine’s noise had died down, and she heard hoofsteps instead. They sounded strange, and she couldn’t figure out how fast they were coming.

“Little girl? Hello?” a voice called out. Calling for her? She couldn’t tell. “You, uh, you know you shouldn’t be playing in the road, right?”

It was all Sunset could do to keep from screaming. She couldn’t get a good look at the creature that was walking around her hiding spot, but she could see some of it from in between the branches. It stood upright, like a diamond dog, and was very tall. That was why the hoofsteps had sounded strange, she realized; she had been expecting four hooves.

It was getting too close. There was no telling how dangerous these creatures were. If it came down to a fight, nopony could handle herself better than Sunset, but she didn’t want to test that. Teleporting would be a challenge since she didn’t know the area, but she could at least teleport back to the portal. That ought to give her enough time to figure out what to do next.

“You’re not… hurt, are you?” it said again, far too close to the bush she was in. It was time to go.

Sunset concentrated, but couldn’t feel the magic welling up in her horn. Considering her head wasn’t in searing agony, she couldn’t have damaged it on the way in. Hoping that the increased adrenaline was just causing her to not notice the sensation, Sunset tried casting the spell anyway.

Nothing happened.

‘No, no, no, no, no…’ Sunset immediately reached a hoof to her horn to try and figure out what was going on, only to find it wasn’t there. She groped around her head and found nothing but her hair. She covered her head with her forelegs and focused on keeping herself as quiet as possible.

“Well, you know, if you can hear me, just remember to stay out of the road, okay?” the creature said. She could hear its hoofsteps moving away towards the machine again, though she didn’t dare move from her spot.

Eventually, the noise from the machine began again, and she waited where she was as it grew fainter. Even long after it had left, she stayed in the bush. She wiped her eyes with her freakish hoof and chastised herself. Sunset didn’t cry. Not since she was a filly. But the tears wouldn’t stop.

What was she doing? What would she do next? What could she do next? She had been chased into a stupid bush in the middle of a world she didn’t understand, and she couldn’t teleport. There was no telling what would happen if she went back to Equestria; besides whatever Celestia would say, was she even guaranteed to turn back into a regular unicorn?

Still, she had to try. It was the only thing that made sense. She would check to see if there were any lingering creatures around her, then she would make a run for the portal.

She didn’t do that. She couldn’t. Her mind willed her to move, but her body refused. Instead, she curled into a tight ball, and she cried.

How long had she been hiding? Sunset didn’t know. Once the initial shock wore off she found she was better able to view her situation, but she didn’t dare leave the bush.

Her body seemed to be identical to the creature that had been looking for her. She suspected that had something to do with how difficult running had been – her body was now bipedal. Likewise, her muzzle was gone, replaced by a much smaller nose, practically flush against her face. The only hair she seemed to have was her mane, as both her tail and coat were gone. She’d removed the shoes that she’d been wearing since stepping through the portal, and found that she didn’t have any kind of hooves at all.

The realization hit hard, but it was impossible to ignore – Sunset was no longer a pony. It caused another panic attack, prolonging how long she stayed in the bush for.

Eventually, she reached a point where she was ready to leave her hiding spot, but before she could a whole swarm of the creatures had arrived. They seemed to be pouring out of the building, and there were more than she could count. They were all talking amongst themselves, and Sunset noticed they definitely seemed to have distinctly male and female voices, although she couldn’t get a good enough look at their body types to say if they also were distinct.

Not that it really mattered, she wasn’t planning on conducting a full study of them. She only needed to wait until they were gone, then she could run back to the portal.

“Well, hello there,” a female voice said from beside her. “Are you okay, sweetie?”

Sunset couldn’t decide between freezing in place and hoping the creature wasn’t talking to her, or running away and hoping she could get to the portal before being caught. In the end, she compromised by throwing her arms over her head, rustling the branches and forgoing all hope that she might be unnoticed.

“Aww, it’s okay, we just want to help you,” the voice said in a reassuring tone. Sunset wasn’t buying it.

“Here, hold the branches and I’ll try and get her out,” a second voice said, this one sounding male.

As the female pulled the branches away, light flooded through the gap, illuminating Sunset’s view of her feet. She pulled herself into a tight ball, which of course did nothing to help her. She felt two appendages wrap around either side of her, and she was pulled out of her hiding place.

“Easy now, I got you,” the male said. He set her down outside of the bush, but kept hold of her shoulder.

“You poor dear,” the female said. “Just look at her, she’s terrified.”

Sunset didn’t want to be terrified. This wasn’t like her; even without her magic, she was resourceful enough to not let fear paralyze her. She forced herself to look up at the creatures and realized they were huge. Even kneeling down they were taller than her, probably twice her size if they were standing upright.

“What were you doing in there?” the female asked. She was light brown with a darker brown mane, and was smiling warmly. They seemed friendly enough, at least.

“Let’s start with your name,” the male said, much more gruffly. He was a more greyish brown, with a black mane. Although his expression was dour, he didn’t seem hostile.

“S-Sunset Shimmer.” It was the first thing that Sunset had said since exiting the portal, and her breath stopped at the sound. She didn’t even sound like herself. Why was her voice so high pitched?

“My, that’s a pretty name,” the female said. “Sunset, are your parents around somewhere?”

Her parents? Why the buck would her parents be anywhere nearby, and why would these two even care? “No,” she said before she could think about whether it was the right answer or not.

“Is there somebody else with you?” The female kept smiling but was looking increasingly concerned. Meanwhile, the male had stood upright, confirming Sunset’s suspicions of their full height, and was looking around for someone who might know Sunset.

“No,” she said again, although this time she was sure it was a mistake. They were trying to figure out if Sunset was alone, and she did not want to give them that information.

“You poor thing, you’re lost aren’t you? Do you know where you live?”

Sunset gestured towards where the portal was. “J-just over there.”

‘I’m not lost. I know where I am. I’m just waiting for a friend. I should get going.’ Sunset’s brain formed the sentences, but her mouth wouldn’t speak any of them. It seemed all she could will herself to do was answer direct questions.

“Sweetie, that’s a school.” The female and the male exchanged worried looks. He nodded, although Sunset wasn’t sure why. He reached into a pocket on his jacket and pulled out a rectangular object. He pulled on the top of it and a small rod came out. He pressed a few buttons on it, held the thing up to his ear, and took a few steps away.

“Everything will be alright, don’t you worry about a thing.”

Sunset couldn’t take her eyes off the male. He was talking, but not to either of them, and there was no one else around them. His voice was too low for Sunset to make it out.

Noticing where she was looking, the female tried to draw her attention away. “Can you tell me how old are you, dearie?”

“Seventeen,” Sunset said absent-mindedly.

The female laughed, causing Sunset to turn to her in confusion. “Kids say the darndest things, they say. Really though, Sunset, how old are you?”

Sunset frowned. “I’m seventeen,” she tried again.

“Oh. I… see.” The female tried to keep smiling, but Sunset could tell she didn’t believe it.

Everything clicked into place in an instant. Sunset was half the size of these two. Earlier she had been called ‘little girl’. Her voice was far more high-pitched than usual. This lady wasn’t just a condescending bitch, she literally thought she was talking to a child.

She was still talking, but Sunset wasn’t listening. All thoughts of escaping were gone, as were any other thoughts she might have had. Instead, she collapsed on the ground, and she cried. The female seemed to be trying to comfort her, but Sunset couldn’t bring herself to care. The last time she had allowed herself to cry so openly had been, well, the last time she was a child.

At some point they were approached by two other creatures, wearing identical blue uniforms. They talked with the male first, then approached Sunset and the female.

“Hey there,” one of the newcomers said. He was clearly elevating his voice; exactly like someone might do when talking with a distraught child. “I’m officer Blue Stripe, and your name’s Sunset Shimmer, right?”

Sunset didn’t answer.

“That’s what she said earlier,” the female said, “although I think she may be a bit… confused. She hasn’t said anything for a while.”

“Can you step over here a moment, ma’am?” the other blue-clad creature said. “We need to take your statement.”

“Yes, of course,” she said, then turned back to Sunset. “Alright, Sunset. These nice officers are going to take care of you.”

Sunset didn’t answer.

“Sunset Shimmer,” Blue Stripe said, “do you know where you live?”

Did she know…? No, she didn’t. If she didn’t live in the castle then where did she live?

“You’re not in trouble, we just want to get you to your home.”

Home. Sunset just wanted to go home.

“Is there some reason you don’t want to say anything? It’s okay, you can tell us anything at all. We’re here to help you, Sunset.”

A reason she couldn’t say? She didn’t know anything about this place, there was no way she could give a reasonable answer.

“What about your parents’ names? Can you tell me that?”

Her parents were the last thing she needed.

Sunset didn’t answer. Question after question, Sunset didn’t answer.

“Any luck?” the other officer asked once he was done talking to the female.

“No.” It was strange the way adults talked. Like if they dropped their voice a little bit and turned their head, suddenly kids couldn’t hear them anymore. And it seemed that included Sunset now. “She doesn’t look hurt, but it could be anything. Hopefully she’s just lost and confused.” He turned back to Sunset and managed a friendly smile. “Okay, just come with us now, Sunset. We’ll get you home in no time, okay?”

Sunset didn’t answer, but she did stand up to follow them. Without bothering to look back or spare a single thought to the consequences, Sunset found herself being led to a machine like the one she had seen earlier, although it was much smaller. Blue Stripe opened a door and looked at her expectantly, and she realized it was some sort of mechanical carriage.

She knew it was the single worst mistake in her life, but she was still too afraid to try and escape. Hoping for the best, she climbed into the carriage.

The two officers entered the front of the carriage from opposite sides. “All buckled up back there?” Blue Stripe asked. When she didn’t answer, he looked back and frowned. “Er, right. I’ll get it.” He opened his door, stepped out, then opened hers. From beside her, he pulled out something that resembled a flat rope and pulled it across her torso and waist, then fastened it into another device which held it in place. Sunset didn’t react.

Blue Stripe gave her a concerned look, but didn’t say anything else as he returned to his seat. Once he shut the door, his partner placed a key into a slot, turned it, and the whole carriage came to life and began vibrating. They began moving; slowly at first, though they soon picked up speed.

From out of her window, Sunset could see the building. Out in front of it, she saw a white statue of a pony, albeit a strangely proportioned one. She knew that had to be where the portal was, and she could only watch as it sped past her.

Author's Note:

Howdy, y'all :ajsmug: Apparently, somebunny got tired of miserable horses and decided to write about some miserable humans. Or something like that.

So this is where I normally remind people that I love to hear from readers, but I actually have a couple things to point out real quick:

Although this is the earliest story in Who We Become and is the best starting point, it was not the first story written. As such, many readers knew about events that took place after this story. I’ve been adamant about people using spoiler tags in comments, so it should be safe to look at what comments people have left, but do avoid the stuff in spoiler tags if you haven’t read past this story yet.